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Lonely or Misled?. The Effects of Social Integration on Weapon Carrying among American Adolescents. by. James Moody The Ohio State University. Introduction. "They set themselves completely apart, they didn't talk to anyone else."

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slide1

Lonely or Misled?

The Effects of Social Integration on Weapon Carrying among American Adolescents

by

James Moody

The Ohio State University

slide2

Introduction

"They set themselves completely apart,

they didn't talk to anyone else."

- Melisa Snow, Columbine High School, of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold

"My whole life, I just felt outcasted, alone."

- Luke Woodham, Shooter, Perl High School, Mississippi

slide3

Introduction

  • Most media explanations of recent school shootings have focused on psychological or media-influence explanations.
  • What else can sociologist add to our understanding of why adolescents bring weapons to school?
  • - Situate students in a multi-level environment
    • - Treat schools as social systems
    • - Identify the multiple contents of peer culture
  • What can weapon carrying tell sociology about adolescent social life?
    • - Not often studied by delinquency scholars
    • - qualitatively different meanings of weapons used in different contexts.
slide4

Introduction

1. Introduction

2. Weapons in American Schools

3. Schools as Social Systems

- Social Integration

- Peer Influence

4. Multiple Domains of Adolescent Life

- Individual Characteristics

- Family

- Peers

- (School & Community)

5. Data and Methods

6. Results

7. Conclusions & Implications

slide5

Weapons in American Schools

Percent of Students who Report Carrying Weapons to School

Detail: Males

Hispanic

White

Total

Black

slide6

Weapons in American Schools

Percent of Students who Report Carrying Weapons to School

Detail: Females

Total

Black

Hispanic

White

slide7

Weapons in American Schools

  • Surveys show high variability in weapon prevalence across settings
    • YRBSS is limited in this regard, with too few points in most settings
    • Wary students are more likely to under-report to government agencies
  • Surveys conducted in local areas suggest wider variance
    • Range as high as 50% in some setting, BUT:
      • Often target high-risk settings
      • Widely varying question, sampling and survey methodologies
      • Difficult to draw uniform conclusions from these data
  • Add Health provides national coverage with consistent survey methodology
    • National Sample
    • CADI design for highest confidentiality
slide11

Schools as Social Systems

Social Integration

Why should the structure of the relational system matter?

  • Two insights from J.S. Coleman
    • - The Adolescent Society
      • Normative patterns follow relations
    • - The Production of Social Capital
      • Closed social structures generate social control
  • Social Disorganization Literature
    • - disconnected communities
      • 1) cannot effectively monitor minors
      • 2) provide weaker normative socialization
  • Both resting on basic insights from Durkheim’s work on solidarity
slide12

Schools as Social Systems

Coleman’s Adolescent Society

Social Integration

One of the earliest works to treat schools as lives social communities, focusing on the relational structure of the school.

slide13

Schools as Social Systems

Social Integration

Coleman’s Adolescent Society: Integration matters.

slide14

Schools as Social Systems

Social Integration

Social Disorganization

  • Work on communities & crime stresses the ability of the community to effectively monitor & socialize youth.
    • Neighborhoods characterized by high mobility, many single-parent families, high rates of renter-occupied housing all lack the kind of social closure needed for effective social control.
    • Theory rests on network connections, data rests on proxy indicators
slide15

Schools as Social Systems

Social Integration

How do we identify structural cohesion?

  • The structural essence of social solidarity lies in the relational redundancy of the network.
    • Coleman’s social closure distinguishes an easily disrupted pattern from one where information flows in multiple directions
    • The problem with mobility and broken families rests on the inability of social resources to flow through the community networks
    • Integrated networks admit to many paths connecting people through many alters
slide16

Schools as Social Systems

Social Integration

Coleman’s Social Capital & The Generation of Human Capital

slide17

Removal of any point in this network disconnects the set.

Each person can control the flow of information through the group.

Schools as Social Systems

Social Integration

  • Networks are structurally cohesive if they remain connected even when nodes are removed
slide18

If there are multiple ways goods can flow, the group does not depend on a single individual to carry information

Schools as Social Systems

Social Integration

  • Networks are structurally cohesive if they remain connected even when nodes are removed
slide19

Schools as Social Systems

Social Integration

  • Networks are structurally cohesive if they remain connected even when nodes are removed

2

3

0

1

Node Connectivity

slide20

Schools as Social Systems

Social Integration

slide21

Schools as Social Systems

Peer Influence

  • The majority of research on adolescents and peers
  • Differential Association & Social Learning Theory
  • Social Influence models (Friedkin et al)
  • [expand these points]
slide22

Schools as Social Systems

Peer Influence

Limitations & Extensions

  • Direct imitation vs. normative context
  • Self-reports vs. peer reports
  • Selection vs. influence
slide23

Schools as Social Systems

Peer Influence

  • SLT & Internal Mechanisms
    • SLT focuses on the why of differential association
    • I want to focus on the content, as such, I largely assume a normative information mechanism.
slide24

Adolescent Social Contexts

Individual Level

Motivation

  • Fear
    • Afraid at school
    • Witness violence
  • Powerlessness
    • Future orientation
    • Self-Confidence
    • Self Control
  • Alienation
    • Not Liked by others
    • Lonely
    • Attachment to School
slide25

Adolescent Social Contexts

Individual Level

Opportunity

  • Opportunity
    • Autonomy
    • Time hanging out with friends
slide26

Adolescent Social Contexts

Individual Level

Normative Acceptability

  • Social Control
    • Delinquency
    • School Orientation
    • Religiosity
  • Culture & Background
    • Media Exposure
    • Gender
    • Race
slide27

Adolescent Social Contexts

Family Context

Opportunity

  • Family Monitoring
    • Family Structure
    • Family SES
    • Parent assessment of friends
  • Access
    • Gun in the home
slide28

Adolescent Social Contexts

Family Context

Normative Acceptability

  • Cultural Background
    • Gun in Home
    • Family SES
  • Attachment
    • Close to Parents
    • Parents Care
slide29

Adolescent Social Contexts

Peer Context

Motivation

  • Social Integration
    • Outsider Position
    • Out-of-school nominations
slide30

Adolescent Social Contexts

Peer Context

Normative Acceptability

  • Differential Association
    • Peer Delinquency
    • School orientation of peers
slide31

Adolescent Social Contexts

School & Community

Motive, Opportunity & Normative Climate

  • Schools & Communities can affect each weapon carrying dimension. For example,
    • Violent schools may generate more fear
    • Racial tension might promote weapon carrying
    • Large schools may be more alienating and less capable of monitoring students
    • Geographically dispersed schools may have weaker social integration
    • etc.
  • Specifying & testing for such factors is beyond the scope of the present work. However, school effects must be controlled if we are to have any faith in the within school models. I do this using school-level fixed effects for each model.
slide32

The National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health*

Data & Methods: Sample summary

* a program project designed by J. Richard Udry and Peter S. Bearman, and funded by a grant HD31921 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to the Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with cooperative funding participation by the following agencies: The National Cancer Institute; The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders; the National Institute on Drug Abuse; the National Institute of General Medical Sciences; the National Institute of Mental Health; the Office of AIDS Research, NIH; the Office of Director, NIH; The National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS; Office of Minority Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, HHS; and the National Science Foundation.

slide33

The National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health

Data & Methods: Sample summary

1994 - 1994

In-school

Questionnaire

n = 90,118

1995 Wave 1

In - Home

Questionnaire

N = 20,745

1996 Wave 2

In - Home

Questionnaire

N = 14,738

1994 School

Administrator

Questionnaire

N = 164

Alternate

Schools

slide34

The National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health

Data & Methods: Sample summary

  • I use network data from the In-school survey (1994/5) and behavior measures from the in-home survey (1995).
  • 113 schools have usable global network data & weights, reducing the sample universe to 13,466

I estimate survey corrected logistic regression models with fixed effect parameters for each school.

slide35

Who Carries Weapons to Schools?

Prevalence

  • 16% of males and 5% of females report carrying a weapon to school
  • This proportion varies somewhat across schools:
slide36

25

20

15

Males

Percent

Females

10

5

0

Outsiders

(8%)

Bridges

(25%)

Members

(67%)

Who Carries Weapons to Schools?

Prevalence

slide37

Who Carries Weapons to Schools?

Model Results: Individual Motivational Factors

Change in an average adolescent’s probability of weapon carrying for a one standard deviation increase in X*

0.08

0.06

0.04

Change in p(Y=1|X)

0.02

0

-0.02

-0.04

Safe

Seen

Violence

College

Expectation

Self

Confidence

Not

Liked

Loneliness

School

Attachment

Self

Control

* Based on model 6 of table 5

slide38

0.06

0.04

0.02

0

-0.02

Own

Decisions

Hang w.

Friends

Smoker

Drinker

GPA

Religiosity

Media

Who Carries Weapons to Schools?

Model Results: Individual Opportunity & Acceptability Factors

Change in an average adolescent’s probability of weapon carrying for a one standard deviation increase in X*

Change in p(Y=1|X)

* Based on model 6 of table 5

slide39

Males

Females

Who Carries Weapons to Schools?

Model Results: Individual Acceptability Factors

Probability of Carrying a Weapon by Race and Gender*

0.3

0.25

0.2

Probability of carrying a weapon

0.15

0.1

0.05

0

White

Black

Hispanic

Asian

Native American

Other

Race/Ethnicity

* Based on model 6 of table 5

slide40

Who Carries Weapons to Schools?

Model Results: Family Opportunity & Acceptability factors

Change in an average adolescent’s probability of weapon carrying for a one standard deviation increase in X*

0.06

0.04

Change in p(Y=1|X)

0.02

0

-0.02

Step

family

Single

Mother

Single

Father

Other

Family

Gun in

home

Close to

Parents

Parents

Care

Parents

Friend

* Based on model 6 of table 5

slide41

Who Carries Weapons to Schools?

Model Results: Peer Effects

Network Effects on Weapon Carrying

0.2

Peer Group Deviance

0.16

0.12

Social Outsiders

0.08

School Oriented Peer Group

0.04

0

0.08

0.19

0.3

0.41

0.52

0.63

0.74

0.85

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Peer Context